Global Look at Food Supply

Article excerpt

SURGING population growth and climate change are driving the planet towards episodes of worsening hunger, which only an overhaul of the food system will fix, a panel of experts says.

aThe challenge that's ahead of us globally is really quite hard even to comprehend,a CSIRO chief executive officer Megan Clark said this week.

aWe must increase global food production by 2050 by some 30-80% and reduce our (carbon) emissions by half.

aTo put it another way, as my children grow old over the next 60 years, we'll have to produce as much food as has been produced in human history.

aAt the same time during that period, we will have to learn how to halve our emission rate from agriculture.a

The panel, called the Commission on Sustainable Agriculture and Climate Change, was set up in February by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), an umbrella organisation funded by national governments, regional organisations and research foundations.

Drawing on published studies, the panel is offering guidance on how the world can be fed as its population rises from seven billion to more than nine billion mid-century and diets shift to higher consumption of calories, fats and meat.

During this time, greenhouse gases emitted in past decades will have an inevitable effect on the climate system, adding to the risk of drought and flood. …

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